Important changes to Health & Safety legislation

Peninsula Team

October 02 2014

Three new pieces of safety legislation came into force in the UK on 1st October. The Acetylene Safety (England & Wales & Scotland) Regulations 2014 These regulations consolidate and modernise previous sets of regulations and guidance regarding the use of acetylene. There is now one single set of regulations which govern working with acetylene. There are a number of changes, including: - It will no longer be a requirement to seek Health and Safety Executive (HSE) approval for certain acetylene equipment so long as it complies with all current recognised standards - Any person or company wishing to manufacture, compress or fill a cylinder with acetylene gas greater than 0.62 bar is required to hold a licence. There was previously a complex process for gaining approval.   The Petroleum (Consolidation) Regulations 2014 The Petroleum (Consolidation) Regulations 2014 revoke and replace eight separate pieces of legislation. They apply to: - Workplaces that store petrol and dispense it through manual or electrical pumping from a storage tank (retail and non-retail); and - The storage of petrol at non-workplace premises e.g. private homes, clubs etc. The regulations do not change existing health and safety responsibilities but replace a licensing regime with a certification scheme managed and enforced by the local Petroleum Enforcement Authority (PEA). Storage certificates will become invalid if a prescribed material change takes place or if petrol is not stored at the site for a continuous period exceeding 12 months. The Explosives Regulations 2014 These new Explosives Regulations simplify and consolidate the existing law into one regulation, which covers the safety of workers and members of the public in the manufacture, handling and storage of explosives. The main changes include: - Allowing local authorities to issue licences up to 5 years; - Extending licensing to address storage of ammonium nitrate blasting intermediate (ANBI); - Updated exceptions for keeping higher hazard and de-sensitised explosives without a licence; - Tables of separation distances have been amended to better allow for sites with more than one store. They have also been revised to cover quantities of explosives greater than 2000kg; - A revised list of explosives that can be acquired or acquired and kept without an explosives certificate from the police; - The repeal of the Fireworks Act 1951. It is unlikely that these changes will have any significant impact on Peninsula clients. The changes have been made to simplify the legal framework, to bring it up to date to cover new ways of working and take account of developing technologies. Anyone following current best practice is unlikely to fall foul of the revised legislation. Further information and advice is, of course, always available to our BusinessSafe clients through our 24 hour Advice Service by calling 0844 892 2785.

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